San Francisco Chronicle, August 25, 1998
901 Mission St., San Francisco,CA,94103
(Fax 415-896-1107 )
(E-MAIL: chronletters@sfgate.com )
( http://www.sfgate.com )
Letter: 'HOLY WAR'

How safe has it felt to be an American the last few days? Take a moment and think. Strangers who don't know you are calling for your demise. How do you feel when you see or read someone claiming a "Holy War" against you? How many of you had a second thought about making or changing travel plans because of the general warning of travel outside the borders of the "safe" U.S.? How many wondered about the safety of our borders, remembering the World Trade Center bombing? Did the world just get a little smaller for you? What does that low-level, general, nagging, thought feel like? Do you have a right to travel without fear?

Other people are now demonizing you and think you are bad and can/should change. However, did you personally send the bombs? What goes through your heart, mind and soul?

This is very similar to how it feels to be gay in America. Someone who doesn't even know you has called a "Holy War" against you. You worry about the chances of being gay-bashed when you travel; maybe even at night in your own neighborhood. Where are your "safe" borders? That low-level, general, nagging, thought keeps popping up time and again because someone thinks you are asking for a "special right" not to have that feeling. Then newspaper ads explain that you are bad and can/should change (even though you know that is false). Guess what goes through your heart, mind and soul. It is not a comfortable feeling, is it?

-- PETER Di GIULIO San Francisco


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